Brandon Topham (DA)

Feb. 13, 2017 (1 year, 9 months ago)

brandon

What is your political background?

My political activism when I was sixteen in 1986 when I got exposed to the inequalities of Apartheid against people. Then when I entered university I worked three jobs just to get away from having to enlist as a white South African. As a liberal I was approached in 1995 to run as a Councillor for the ANC in the Tshwane metro, however at that time I was quite invested in the running of my own business. I only returned again to politics in 2006 when I was contracted to investigate a DA Councillor about financial irregularities. After that work I was invited to participate in the DA structures. I was then elected a Councillor in the Tshwane Metro from 2006 until 2015. I served in the finance and public accounts portfolios therein.In 2009 I ran for the Gauteng regional chairperson where I was elected for a two year term until 2011. I remain the regional finance chairperson of the DA in Gauteng. The attraction to the DA was that there needed to be an opposition holding the executive and government to account as my years at local government had taught the unacceptability of wrong doing going without consequence.

What does your job as an MP entail?

On Monday I am at Gauteng doing party political work in the region and in my constituency in Midrand. On Tuesday to Thursday I attend the Standing Committee on Finance and two other committees where I alternate so that on Friday I return to Gauteng for party political work.

What is your impression of the fifth Parliament?

Because I am an individual that listens and treats other with respect, I have had no issues since coming to parliament where I have a grievance on. Certainly I feel that we could be better deployed to committee to deal with legislation rather than be all at the chamber as we never all get an opportunity to speak though we are all politicians. If we could just listen to each other in the chamber as Members of Parliament because the house has an element of politics and that of actually delivering to the nation and better ways could be found to doing both if we built bridges between each other. Sometimes I feel as MPs we are too closed to other peoples’ point of view which needs to change. At the moment the biggest political strategy in the country is to divide people. This happens in all political parties where groups within one party tend to divide each other. We need to find a way to stop factionalising parties and my view is we need to make it unconstitutional to consider a person’s race, sex or religion. Certainly comparing the council chambers to the national assembly there is quite a lot of oversight at council chamber compared to the national assembly but then again the matter of more engagement on laws is better afforded at that level.

What constituency area have you been assigned to you by your party?

Midrand

What is most interesting about your constituency work so far?

I am currently involved and have been for a time in entrepreneurship and public speaking training where I have hosted workshops at municipal council for Councillors. One of my mentees who had a stutter in speech has become a DA Councillor at a Municipality. I am also a member of the Rotary club.

What are you most passionate about - this applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally?

Building peoples self-confidence through public speaking training.

What would your message to South Africa be?

Think we have a fantastic electoral system but certainly having similar ways at national and at local level, with having fixed constituencies as well as the proportional representative position would work but what South Africans do not understand is that constituencies of MPs are not fixed.It could be easier for public perception for that type of thing to occur because you would still need a proportional representative system because winning more wards but loosing votes does not remove the fact that the ruling party had fewer votes in the previous local election.

Comments

Keep comments free of racism, sexism, homophobia and abusive language. People's Assembly reserves the right to delete and edit comments

(For newest comments first please choose 'Newest' from the 'Sort by' dropdown below.)